Wes Craven: 1939 - 2015
Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream director Wes Craven passed away this afternoon in his Los Angeles home after a battle with brain cancer.
Craven got his start in horror film with Last House on the Left in 1972 but it was his 1984 film Elm Street that pushed him into iconic status. It introduced one of the all time great slasher villains, Freddy Krueger, the hideously scarred psycho killer who haunted the children of his killers in their dreams.
Krueger's red and green striped sweater, fedora and his leather glove still make the rounds during Halloween parties to this day. Instead of giving us silent killers and brutal kills Craven injected humor and creativity beyond compare in his franchise. It is what made Freddy Krueger such a standout from his peers.
A dozen years later Craven would inject new life into the horror genre again with writer Kevin Williamson and the Scream series of films. Before we knew what Meta-Horror even was there was the Scream franchise and Wes Craven's New Nightmare in 1995.
The Elm Street films were my foundation and introduction to the horror genre. More so than Jason or Michael, I was a Craven and a Krueger fan before any other director and villain combo from the Big Three from horror films in the 80s.